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Groups Appeal To NFL Players On Redskins Name Change

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Native American groups hope they'll have better luck appealing to players than Washington owner Dan Snyder.
Keith Allison
Native American groups hope they'll have better luck appealing to players than Washington owner Dan Snyder.

Two groups leading the charge against the Washington Redskins' name are sending letters to every NFL player urging them to speak out against the team's name.

The Oneida Indian Nation and the National Congress of American Indians say the name of the football team is an offensive racial slur and they're taking their case directly to the players today.

Jacqueline Pata heads the National Congress of American Indians. She says players have influence in this debate because they have a high profile and command respect and credibility when talking about the league's behavior.

"NFL players are like icons. They're like role models that kids look up to and when those players actually step to the forefront and say this doesn't feel comfortable for me. This is not a name I can feel proud of... and I want to play for a team I can feel proud of... we think that's what's going to make change happen," Pata says.

The letter urging players to take action is signed by dozens of Native American, civil rights and religious organizations. And the groups leading the effort say they'll also tweet it at teams and players.

The owner of the Redskins, Dan Snyder, says he will never change the name and that it's meant to honor Native Americans.

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